Review  - The Dead Wife's Handbook (Penguin Books)

ISBN 978-0-718-17814 -7

Published  - 2014

Author - Hanna Beckerman

Genre – Chick Lit 

My Rating: 4/5

‘Today is my death anniversary. A year ago today I was still alive.’

Rachel, Max and their daughter Ellie had the perfect life - until the night Rachel’s heart stopped beating.
Now Max and Ellie are doing their best to adapt to life without Rachel, and just as her family can’t forget her, Rachel can’t quite let go of them either. Caught in a place between worlds, Rachel watches helplessly as she begins to fade from their lives. And when Max is persuaded by family and friends to start dating again, Rachel starts to understand that dying was just the beginning of her problems.
As Rachel grieves for the life she's lost and the life she'll never lead, she learns that sometimes the thing that breaks your heart might be the very thing you hope for.


I have to say that even though I opted to review this book it was met with some skepticism when I read the name of the book ...I am now however a convert! This is Hannah Beckerman's first novel and I have to say it is a winner.

The book starts off on such a beautiful note of a 'fairy tale family', a love shared between two parents Max and Rachel know... the stuff dreams are made of and then by a twist in fate Rachel dies unexpectedly. The future is bleak for Max who is living under a cloud of depression and Rachel's death leaves their daughter Ellie trying to cope with a very real void in her life. The story covers a multitude of emotions from both Max , Ellie and the respective families, inclusive of Rachel's best friend Harriet.

What makes the book unique is the constant commentary from the deceased Rachel, she opens a whole new world which in turn facilitates a commentary to share her journey and emotions on the other side of death. Ending in a rather unique but endearing way, this novel offers insight into what we all hope for from death and it's wake. It does however also show that life does indeed move forward, whether we like it or not!

I really enjoyed this book, it was lighthearted to read despite the rather sombre topic. I found the pace at which it moved to be great and I never felt myself distracted or bored at anytime. For a first novel I would highly recommend this THE DEAD WIFE'S HANDBOOK as a great read.

For more info on where to get this book
Penguin Books